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Singer Brown pleads guilty to Rihanna assault

 R&B singer Chris Brown (C) arrives for a preliminary hearing at a Criminal Court in Los Angeles June 22, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - Reuters
R&B singer Chris Brown (C) arrives for a preliminary hearing at a Criminal Court in Los Angeles June 22, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
— image credit: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - R&B singer Chris Brown pleaded guilty on Monday to assaulting his former girlfriend, pop star Rihanna in an agreement with prosecutors that calls for him to spend five years of probation.

Brown, the singer of the hits "Run It" and "Kiss Kiss," also will have to perform at least 180 days of community service in his home state of Virginia.

The 20-year-old singer entered the plea at a preliminary hearing in a Los Angeles courtroom. He had been accused of assaulting and making criminal threats against Rihanna in February on the eve of the music industry's Grammy Awards.

There was no plea agreement on the threat charge and a formal sentencing was scheduled for August 5. He had faced four years in prison if convicted in a trial on both charges.

"I think it's commendable that you took responsibility for your conduct sir," Judge Patricia Schnegg told Brown.

Brown, dressed in a plaid gray suit and accompanied by his mother, also was issued a stay-away order to keep his distance from Rihanna.

Barbados-born Rihanna, whose hits include "Disturbia" and "Umbrella," also appeared in court but only after Brown left. Her attorney, Donald Etra, had said that she was prepared to testify against him.

"Rihanna believes this is a fair and just resolution to this case," Etra said outside the courthouse.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis and Laura Isensee; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Bill Trott)

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